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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    119

    Default Need Advice with New Puppy

    Hello,

    I also posted this in the emotion support section, but I thought maybe I should post it here too.

    I have been a lurker on these boards since they started. I wanted to let you know that you all seem like incredible women with great advice to give, so I figured I should start posting and get involved in the chats.

    I don't know if the title for this thread is appropriate. I definitely have a life, but recently it has become VERY overwhelming. From another person's perspective, my life from the outside looks great. I have a wonderful husband of two years, and a great job. We just bought our first home in a very nice neighborhood.

    I have been wanting a dog for all my life. My parents would never let me have one, so I told myself, the minute I own a home and have a yard, I would get one. Well, we got an ADORABLE little puppy about three weeks ago. He is what I have been waiting for all my life. The thing is, I have started feeling kinda depressed since we got him, even though I love him so much. Kind of like post pardum depression after having a baby. Is this normal with a dog??? I know it sounds crazy.

    I just feel like since we've gotten him, I have no free time to myself anymore. Don't get me wrong, I knew a puppy was going to be a lot of work and not all fun and games, but I didn't think it would have this affect on me. We are crate training him, so while the two of us are at work, I keep him in the crate. Since I work much closer to home than my husband, I go home every day during lunch to let him out to relieve himself and to feed him lunch. I used to look at lunch break as a fun time. I would go out with my co-workers and we would laugh, eat good food and have fun. Now I have to rush home. I barely have enough time to get him to go "potty" and eat. Then on the way back to work I have no time left, so I usually end up grabbing fast food or some other junk to eat. I've been gaining weight and neglecgting my health even though I know I shouldn't.

    Then when I get home from work, I feel bad that the puppy has been in the crate all day, so I spend my entire evening playing with him and giving him attention. Since he is still a puppy, I have to watch him non-stop, otherwise he will chew on everything and try to go potty inside.

    I don't remember the last time I had fun. I feel like there are not enough hours in the day. I was so excited when we first bought our house to decorate and make it all pretty. Now I feel like i have no time for this. I usually try to spend weekends with the dog too, because I hate to leave him home alone when he's home all day during the week. He doesn't have all his shots yet, so I can't really take him out with me to any public places.

    Don't get me wrong, I love having a puppy, and I know his puppyhood will not last forever, but I feel like I have been neglecting myself in the process. I can't really find a balance without feeling guilty that I'm not giving him enough attention.

    My husband also keeps bugging me about having kids soon, but I can't even BEGIN to image what affect that would have on me. I barely have enough time to take care of myself, clean the house, and play with the dog.

    What do you guys think I should do to make myself feel better?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Lost in space
    Posts
    551

    Default

    OH BOY! can i relate!!!!

    i was in the same situation a year ago at this time. we adopted a 6 month old puppy last summer. my DH and I thought it'd be a nice transition to eventually "prepare" us to have kids.

    I, too, worked closest to home. So i had the job of going home every lunch break, taking the dog out, etc. And my lunch breaks were forever changed..and I didnt like it!!! i'd cry.....a lot!...usually out frustration. I was so used to my usual lunch routine, that I didnt feel like my "new" change was a smart one. I'd call DH freaking out w/various puppy problems..."he's not listening to me...he's spazzing out...i'm trying to eat my lunch and i can't even relax"....you name it, and it bothered me!

    Fast forward to right now, and i will admit that having a dog is the BEST decision we made! I may not have thought it at the time...but hind sight is always 20/20.

    The ONE thing you need to repeat to yourself is "patience"!!!! It won't be like this forever! In fact I'm willing to bet that by winter, you'll feel much better about everything!....it just takes time!!

    My suggestions to ease the "pain":
    1) Make time for you. Give your hubby dog-duty too so that it's not ALL up to you!
    2) Give the pup lots of love and LOTS of chew toys to occupy him/her. Puppies need lots of playtime/exercise to wear themselves out and good toys are the first must-have.
    3) Once your dog is vaccinated, etc. start taking him out w/you. ...to the park, dog park...every little bit of "socialization" will help your dog grow!

    There isn't a magic formula to help ease the anxiety. TIME and PATIENCE (there's that pesky word again!) will totally help you. You may not think so right now at this time, but trust me...it'll get better!!!

    K & J 10.15.05

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Lost in space
    Posts
    551

    Default

    PS. getting a new puppy IS a big life-change! So don't beat yourself up about feeling overwhelmed, guilty, ALL of those emotions! You have to adjust to the new addition, just as much as the puppy has to adjust to his new family! You'll get into a routine though! it'll just take time!....GOOD LUCK and don't give up!!!!!

    K & J 10.15.05

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Oh my gosh, I was you just three months ago! But the good news is that three months later it all seems like a distant memory and I actually mentioned to my husband over the weekend that it would be fun to get another puppy!

    Here is what helped me get through.

    First, if you can swing a dog walker I would highly recommend getting one. I was rushing home from work 2x a day to let the puppy out and it was taking a huge toll on me (and my job)! Oh my gosh what a relief it was to know someone else was taking care of things during the day.

    I too felt so guilty about being gone all day and would spend all morning (from 5AM on) until I went to work and then all evening playing, petting, loving the puppy. I was totally miserable and in the end it was really bad for the dog. All that attention was actually making him insecure and giving him separation anxiety when we were gone and acting crazy when we were there. I decided to give up the kitchen and go back to the normal routine (we are not very exciting we usually watch tv at night!) and I brought the dog into the tv room put him on a towel with a couple of toys and made him stay on that "bed". I gave him lots of praise and the occasional treat for staying there. He has to be a leash to make this work. It was a pain at first because I was constantly getting up and correcting him - but in the end he would happily lie on his bed chewing on this toys or sleeping.

    Another thing. The dog whisperer plan is the best - exercise, training, then love. Walking the crazy out!

    The good news is that dogs mature quickly it is only a matter of weeks before you will be able to bring your dog out and about and start socializing with 'dog people'. That is a whole other story that will give you lots of interesting stories!!

    Also, get your husband to help. I always wake up at the dog's first peep but my husband not so much - so I give him a nice (hard) nudge and let him know that it is his morning to walk/train/feed the dog. Having a couple of mornings a week to myself does wonders for my spirit!!

    Finally, remember that dogs sleep up to 18 hours a day! So on the weekends you should feel free to crate the dog for a couple of hours while you go out to lunch, run errands, get a manicure.

    It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your dog and giving it lots of love. Make sure that you take care of yourself too!

    Finally, and I mean it this time, don't worry about not loving this experience. When I first got the dog I would sit in my driveway and read whatever magazine or catalogue came in the mail that day because I just couldn't face another evening of sitting on the kitchen floor entertaining the puppy! And now, only three months later I want another one!

  5. #5
    dream Guest

    Default

    Oh my gosh, I was you just three months ago! But the good news is that three months later it all seems like a distant memory and I actually mentioned to my husband over the weekend that it would be fun to get another puppy!
    That's so funny b/c my puppy is now 9 months old and last weekend I asked my DH what his thoughts were on getting another puppy!

    The first months w/ our puppy weren't easy and all fun either. We were also crate training her so when we were home we'd spent all our free time w/ her. This's what helped us: we got two gates to close off our kitchen and we'd let her loose there w/ her toys so we could watch TV in peace. (She'd go on the wee wee pad we had in the kitchen.) and we didn't feel so bad b/c she was out but we didn't have to entertain her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3,914

    Default

    Hey!

    I had this SAME feeling when I first got my puppy! I even also called it puppy post partum. I was debating on giving him away, although I doubt I would have. Let me tell you, it gets easier!! Now we have a WONDERFUL dog who is a great friend and he brings me so much joy. I just shudder at the thought of not having him had I found him a new home. Good luck!

    Katie
    Katie & Paul, wedded bliss since June 11, 2005
    TWINS! Abby and Brady born August 29, 2009
    SURPRISE! Claire Zoe born October 26, 2010

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    532

    Default

    I, too, can totally relate! DH and I got our puppy a few years ago, and I remember being quite miserable for a while. I was the one who came home more often to let her out during lunch, and I remember hating that I couldn't take 2 bites of my lunch before she was peeing, pooping, or wreaking havoc of some sort. But as everyone else has said, it definitely gets better! And you do almost forget how hard it was when you got the puppy. I would recommend looking into getting a dog walker if possible, even if for only 1 or 2 days out of the week. Also, we took our dog to doggy daycare once or twice a week, and that was great - all that exercise really wore her out, which helped immensely!

    Just know that you are not a bad person for feeling this way, I think many people go through it - like someone else said, it is totally like "puppy post partum"! Puppies grow and change quickly, and soon this phase will be a distant memory. Hang in there!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,415

    Default

    Having a puppy is more like having a baby than most people realize! I was absolutely miserable there for a while and I remember thinking, at 2am when she was up having to go potty, what in the hell were we thinking??! We have made a huge mistake!! She slept in a crate next to our bed but she didn't want to be apart from us so she would literally scream (not whine--scream!) so I had to sleep with my arm hanging off the bed stuck into the crate.
    The really, really hard part only lasted about 3-5 months. She is so low-maintenance now and the joy of our lives. It is so worth it!
    I agree that doggy daycare 1-2 days a week is a good idea. We still take her to daycare 1 time a week. It not only wears them out, but gets them well-socialized with many kinds of dogs. Tai is so social, affectionate, playful and never aggressive--and part of that is thanks to daycare, I know.

    They're cute like that so that you don't kill them--but they won't be that cute for long. Try to enjoy your new puppy and make sure that your husband is pitching in his share so you can have some time to yourself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Thanks for all of your helpful responses. Once he has all of his shots, I will definitely check out doggy day care. Sounds like a good idea.

    I have a question regarding potty training. How long should it take? Every time I think we're making progess, he has an accident. He has never gone in his crate, so I know that the crating method will work for him. Everytime I let him out of the crate I say "outside," put his leash on and take him right to his spot on the grass. Then I tell him "potty." He will usually go pretty quickly and then I give him TONS of praise, but he doesn't really seem to care much for the praise. He just tries to walk away and sniff the grass.

    So last night he had not had an accident for so long, so I though he was getting the idea to only go outside. I had to go do something in the other room real quick, so I put him in his X pen in the kitchen for literally 10 minutes. When I came back to the kitchen, he had pooed AND peed in there. Of course I did not get mad at him or scold him, b/c I wasn't there to catch him in the act. Then I figured out I can't really leave him like that, so I put his leash on and let him play near me while I sat on the couch and watched TV. Then about 20 minutes later he peed again on the brick near the fireplace! It happened so fast, that by the time I said, "NO" and picked him up and took him outside, he didn't have anything left to finish.

    Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong? He is fine when I keep him in the crate and take him outside, but he still doesn't seem to get the idea that he needs to let me know when he needs to go so I can let him out. He still thinks it's OK to go inside. HELP!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    1,735

    Default

    I got a new puppy 2 months ago.... and we are dealing with some of the same potty issues! We are in puppy training classes, and this is what our trainer told us...

    Gigi will go outside if we take her, but she didn't understand that she was NOT supposed to go inside....
    • If she is not in her crate, then she is to be on a short leash, attached to us, and we have to watch her like a hawk. Which worked, and then we had a set back for about a week, and had to start over. But starting over a 2nd time was much easier than the beginning.
    • We attached a bell to the door, and ring it everytime we take her out to potty (but only to potty, not playtime), she picked up very quickly that she was to ring the bell when she needed to go out. It works 95% of the time.
    • Our trainer said that most dogs aren't fully potty trained until after 6 months, and small breed (like Gigi) can take up to a year!
    • She also said that we had to put her on a schedule, and stick to it 100%. It would be best not to free feed...


    In the last 2 weeks we might have an indoor accident 1 time a day, and that is down from 6 or 7!
    ~ Jen ~
    mommy to A and X
    from here to there * website

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